18 Comments

Oh! Skywolf sounds great and extremely useful. You know I am an AI skeptic, but creating this tool in a transparent fashion is how it should be done. Using AI to comb through data to organize, summarize and track the bills is a great idea -- especially when the bills start shapeshifting. I had extensive notes in OneNote to do this. Some Legislators use paper! Will it tie together bills that are proposed repeatedly? Some of those bills are good, some horrible. Now Legislators are at a disadvantage because the lobbyists, staff and some reporters hold the institutional memory. There are many bad laws -- particularly preemption laws in housing -- that should be repealed. Fresh faced newly elected Legislators come in with new laws to pass and forget about clearing the books of the bad bills that got us where we are now. Tying the variables together and creating summaries (with human review and transparency) seems like a good use of AI. Many AI articles that I read refer to AI "doing the work of bored paralegals." That's sort of what Skywolf would do.

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Skywolf looks interesting and as a voter, it could be a valuable tool to look at the activity of my representative and senator. Are they doing anything or just churning out junk legislation. Could reveal their real intentions.

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The question you didn't answer is: "Since Supe Horne knows the price of a Lego set, did he buy one for himself with taxpayer money?

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Since ADE approves all legos as voucher purchases, then why wouldn't a picture be relevant, as an illustration of what's covered?

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Horne may be playing with semantics about ESA Legos.

Legos haven't been reimbursed because they are bought straight from Amazon through the Class Wallet financial payment system, and so no reimbursement is needed. Certainly ESA funds have been spent on Legos and there is no limit on how extravagant those Legos can be.

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The AZ Department of Education says on the official website that it approves all Legos for ESAs, so why wouldn’t this picture example be relevant?”

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Wow, super excited about Skywolf! Sounds like a game-changer to consume information! TY

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founding

Re: Lego-gate, something I've noticed with SOS is that their messaging is mostly fan service. They preach to the converted. (Other groups do this, but I'm just mentioning SOS because of today's story.) I get their regular emails and I ask myself, "Who is this for? Is it meant to educate someone like me? Or is this just to get the pro-SOS crowd riled up?" There's room for both types of communucations, but like their other stuff, SOS doctoring a post is meant to juice their supporters.

But SOS doesn't do much persuading. So even a little fun at the expense of Horne/ESAs, while catnip for a crowd that already opposes school choice, makes it just a little bit harder to convert someone who's on the fence on ESAs because SOS makes themselves out to be more of a bomb-thrower than a serious advocate for ESA reform.

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Before I get to the PHX Parks Master Plan . . . . Skywolf? . . . awesome. Waiting for rollout.

Back to Parks. It does not take a year and a half and nearly a million bucks to sort out the issue. (Yeah - I've sort of become a Municipal Parks expert - don't ask). To get Master Planned Communities approved, Developers are required to give land within the development to the City. Land is dedicated solely for use as a park.

City charges Impact Fees on housing to provide funds for infrastructure and stuff like Parks, with a specific allocation of the Impact Fees for building Parks.

The City budgets $400,000 per acre for improvements to each Park - hence a $4,000,000 capital expenditure for a 10 Acre community park.

Impact Fees aren't high enough to spend $4,000,000 on a Park. So each time a Park property gets deeded to the City, it goes on a Waiting List that now ranges from 30-42 years before the Park gets built. Seriously. Check out the Lone Mountain Park now being approved.

So where did the Impact Fees for the new neighborhood go? They paid for Parks that were 20-40 years ahead of them on the wait list for funds.

Do the new homebuyers know that? Oh hell no. They're shown a pretty park in the concept drawings and told the City will build it "soon".

Do the homebuyers get pissed? Oh, hell yes. And some cue up to yell at Parks & Rec Board members. Some cue up to yell at City Council meetings. If you do both long enough and loud enough your park sneaks ahead in the wait list. Maybe as much as 20+ years ahead of others. Leaving the other neighborhoods really pissed off that once again they're ignored.

Now - how did a Scottsdale guy get involved in a Laveen area park? Cuz that's where I'm at right now helping the Rogers Ranch 2 HOA Board get their 22 year old dirt lot even on the "to be built list" which it's not.

Turns out Burrowing Owls love the Rogers Ranch Dirt Lot. And the Laveen Area Conveyance Channel which runs past it (supposed to be a poor man's version of Scottsdale's Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt).

The kids and the school next door watch them and draw them during recess. The neighbors carefully walk their dogs a wide distance from them to avoid getting dive bombed. They've become the neighborhood mascot for the whole square mile of the Rogers Ranch communities.

Don't tell the City there are owls there. They swear there aren't. Don't tell the Weed cutting crews to avoid blading their burrows. They do it anyway. And don't tell the owls not to come back. They don't care. They keep coming back.

So much so that Channel 3/5 AZ Family News Mickaela Castillo showed up to hear why Rogers Ranch neighbors had filed a Citizens' Petition requiring the City to set aside land for the Owl Preserve. (Yeah - my idea - yeah the City didn't like it - yeah - so what.)

We invited the City Council, Mayor and Parks & Rec Board. They sent to Information Officers to observe the news crew and interviews - and tell Mickaela we were nuts - there are officially no owls according to City experts.

The owls didn't listen. Mickaela's report is delightful. Took her all of five minutes to get some great video of the owls in burrows peeking out . . . on the fence staring at her . . . and swooping around the fields looking for lunch.

So . . . back to the Master Plan . . . the City will now use up the rest of 2023, all of 2024, and most of 2025 talking about doing work instead of working at doing work. If you guys did Skywolf like Phoenix did Parks, you'd be talking about it a year after someone launched it.

When all that planning is done, the City hired Experts will tell the City they need to change the funding formula for Parks or their work is wasted. Why plan for the future when it will take 30 years to act on it. By that time it might just be the wrong plan - again - right?

Mayor Gallego could just ask me. I'd give my advice for free. Something I offer to her frequently and will again at the City Council meeting next week when the Rogers Ranch Neighbors' Committee Petition to establish an Owl Preserve should be on the Agenda.

But that's not how the biggest formerly little city in the West operates.

For now enjoy Mickaela and the owls.

https://www.azfamily.com/video/2023/11/18/laveen-neighborhood-working-create-preserve-nearby-owls/?fbclid=IwAR3ZQvz4F7yVzCkm2VkQ5kt-wxhjlGB67WIyDqXedWhoti6HScQJY6hq-dk

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Are not Legos a learning tool for potential engineers and others kids interested in actually building things? STEM students? This kerfuffle shows how desperate the SOS crazies are about losing control of the school system. Make no mistake, this goes back to the John Dewey school of pedagogy which is based on the Frankfurt School of Marxism.

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Skywolf is a cool idea and definitely would have come in handy when the Arizona Interfaith Network was conducting regular "Institutes of Public Life" at the capitol during the Napolitano/Burke years. For example, tracking all the anti-immigrant legislation burned time and resources we really didn't have. (I detrail some of that in my book "Sometimes David Wins - Organizing to Overcome Fated Outcomes".)

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As disinformation goes, Republicans shouldn't be throwing stones. The Lego photoshop doesn't even qualify.

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Interestingly, those advocating for ESA target SOS volunteers with online harassment and doxxing. Yet, they're the ones voicing complaints now. It's an ironic twist, considering they frequently manipulate images and spread disinformation. A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The Lego image obviously contains a screen shot for reference. Nowhere in the text does it say someone actually bought it. The ESA people are clutching their pearls for nothing, in my opinion.

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I won’t enter the question about SOS because as a public schools advocate who thinks SOS walks on water, i am hardly objective enough to care what flips Hornes skirts up….but i do want to comment on Sheriff Nanos’ comment— when asked about regulations on arresting members of the press he said he knew nothing about that. Then he said the sheriffs were just working, doing their jobs. Excuse me sir, but thats just what the reporter was doing and HEY is it too much to ask that the head of the Sheriff’s department know about the First Amendment rights of the media? I mean i get that hes got plenty of connections that got him the job—both times—with swirling allegations of fraud consistently set aside, but to know nothing about Freedom of the Press strains even Arizonas usual level of questionable competence. Better than the other guy? Yes. But any good?

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I think the photo of the $500 LEGO set is fair game to show an example. Some folks might not know how much LEGO sets cost, so let them see how large such a purchase can be.

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